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January 25, 2009

Jelena Dokic


J. DOKIC/A. Kleybanova
7-5, 5-7, 8-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How does it feel to be in the quarterfinals?
JELENA DOKIC: It's amazing, yeah. I'm still under the impression of the match more than the fact that I'm in the quarterfinals.
I really struggled physically tonight. I was really on my last reserves. She really had me in that third set. To come out and pull it out was great.

Q. How do you think you found the energy to do it?
JELENA DOKIC: When I got on the court, at the beginning, I knew it would be tough because I wasn't feeling great, which is normal. I haven't played this many matches continuously in a long time.
As I won the first set, I kind of got up. I just -- my energy and my movement, I was struggling in the second set, and she was hitting some great angles and some really big shots. It's tough against her with the way she plays.
Yeah, my serve went down and everything. I think I was really, really tough mentally today, and that's why I won.

Q. Do you have the capacity to come back for two sets?
JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, I mean, I'm really kind of -- when I win match by match, I kind of think, I've done well. Today was the same thing. I honestly didn't expect to win today, even though she hasn't been in this situation that many times. I think she was still the favorite today.
Yeah, the quarterfinals, for me to be at a Grand Slam to start the year that way is unbelievable. Well, whatever happens doesn't really matter.

Q. Could you have imagined this when you were at your lowest?
JELENA DOKIC: No, definitely not. To come after a three-year layoff and to be in the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam straightaways really gives you a lot confidence. When I get my match fitness back to my 100% and physically and still mentally to improve and get stronger, I think -- we see there's a lot of seeds falling. Maybe I can have a chance to do even better at a Grand Slam.

Q. How is your ankle?
JELENA DOKIC: It's okay. It's still warm and it's only been ten minutes since I got off the court. I think it will be okay.

Q. Was it strapped in advance, or was there a weakness there already?
JELENA DOKIC: No, I just sprained it on that point. Just my foot really got stuck. It was really even a shock. But I kind of just think I lost one point after that, so maybe it was a little bit distracting to her as well.

Q. In terms of the tough matches in your career, physically, emotionally, where does this one rate?
JELENA DOKIC: This was not like that physically exhausting, even though it was a long match. It's just the fact that I wasn't at my -- I was at maybe 20% today.
To do it at a Grand Slam is different. Just emotionally and mentally, it's really exhausting.

Q. Can you remember at 1-3, Love-30 in the third, can you remember what you felt or what you were thinking?
JELENA DOKIC: Straightaway when she got a break in the third, you have to think, Well, you know, she might win this. That kind of goes through your head a little bit. I struggled throughout the whole second set. I had so many breakpoints and so many chances on the serve and just couldn't get them.
She was starting to break me easily. My serve went down and not enough first serves in. I think I hit four winners in that game on 3-1 on my serve. I was able to pull it out. It was still only one break in the third set.
I think the experience a little bit today from my side and just mental toughness, just that's probably why I won the third set.

Q. When you rolled your ankle, did you think you would be able to go on?
JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, it goes through your head. I gave it a couple seconds. It was a little bit painful, but I looked at it and it wasn't swollen. Sometimes when it's a really bad strain it gets swollen straightaway.
I thought I would try to play a point or two, and if it's not great I'll call a trainer straightaway. Sometimes with the strains, unless it's a really bad strain, you can play through it because it's still warm.

Q. What's it going to mean to you to represent Australia in Fed Cup?
JELENA DOKIC: It will be amazing. I said that a couple weeks ago when the announcement came out. It will be great to play for Australia again, and I think we really have a good team. Sam's playing well, and we have a good doubles combination. I think it will be good and we're playing at home. This is our big chance to get through.

Q. Will it mean more to you knowing that you're getting some confidence back that you can mix it with some of the best players?
JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, of course. I mean, it's not all up to me. It's a team competition. There are still singles and doubles matches to be won. I had a great time before when I played Fed Cup. I have a good record in Fed Cup. We really pull together.
The girls that are on the team are new to me. I never hung around or traveled with them so much. I think we will do well. We have a good team, good captain.

Q. When you say you're feeling 20% today, you mean as a result of the games you've played now because you're not at full fitness?
JELENA DOKIC: Yeah, look, every single match I've played has been three sets. I really had to come through in all of them. Actually, I think the match with Chakvetadze in the second round was really exhausting. That was my toughest match until now. Yeah, and I really was so strong mentally. It really drains you.
Like I said, straightaway the first couple games in the first set I knew it would be tough because I was not feeling that great.

Q. You say it doesn't matter. I'm sure the competitor in you wants to grab a quarterfinal.
JELENA DOKIC: Of course. I'm not thinking about a semifinal. Just putting in a good match. I'm playing a girl that's 2, 3 in the world, could be No. 1 after this tournament, and is probably the favorite for the tournament at the moment with everybody going out.
This is like really pure match with no pressure on me. Even if I lose easily, it will not be a surprise. I'm playing the No. 3 in the world. I would like to see how I can do against her.

Q. Obviously between now and your match there will be sleep and food and recovery. How do you stay mentally fresh?
JELENA DOKIC: Actually, mentally I've been -- going from every match I've been unbelievable. Probably stronger and stronger considering, like I said today, I didn't play my best and didn't feel great really, but kept on going with my head. So that's what pulled me through today.
At times I couldn't even get myself, the crowd going. I couldn't even scream, Come on anymore I was so tired. I was really trying. But like I said, whatever happens, you know, I'll try and recover as best as I can. That's all I can do.

Q. A lot of positive emotions and it's also been a pretty emotional week. How emotionally draining has that been for you?
JELENA DOKIC: I've been dealing with it great. Like I said, physically it's normal to be tired, which is what I'm feeling. Other than that, all my emotions on court, I'm really controlling them well. I'm really tough mentally, so that's also a surprise to me after such a long time not playing a lot of tournaments and matches that I'm able to keep it up.
I'm just really fighting. I'm really determined and fighting. That's sometimes what keeps it going.

Q. What about your coach? Has he come back to work yet? He seems to have trouble controlling his emotions.
JELENA DOKIC: I think he might have a few drinks tonight. I think I might as well. I know it's tough for me to play and go through all those points and disappointments and highs and lows.
I know even since playing Fed Cup how draining it is to be on the side. You just want to go in there and play yourself. I'm sure it's unbelievably tough to watch from the sides.

Q. Your dad said he might even make a surprise trip here. Have you had any contact, or do you expect any?
JELENA DOKIC: No, I haven't had any contact. It's the first I heard about it. Yeah, it's his decision.

Q. Would you be open to it if he did come over?
JELENA DOKIC: No, I mean, I've said always my whole story with him is finished. It would have to be an unbelievable miracle for him to change. I don't see that happening.
Yeah, I have my tennis and I have my life. I want to do it that way. I just don't -- knowing him, I just don't see any possibilities. We are really different and really disagree on pretty much everything, so...

Q. What you do you do tomorrow, Jelena?
JELENA DOKIC: Don't know. Sleep. I mean, I'll try to go to bed, which I think will be impossible at this stage. Still so much going on. Have a nice day off. Not think about tennis.

End of FastScripts

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